Has David Thomson lost his mind? The Telluride Film Festival presented a lifetime achievement award to one Mickey Rooney this weekend, and the author of The Great Equation has taken this occasion to heap globs of wildly out of focus commentary on the 84-year-old icon. It's true that, if you know Rooney only as either Andy Hardy or the faux-Japanese neighbor in Breakfast at Tiffany's, you don't know nearly all of the story. I've read several accounts that confirm Rooney had developed a taste for prostitutes by the age of fifteen;  Sir Lawrence Olivier once called him "the single greatest actor America has ever produced, but former costar Nathan Lane once described him as "psychotic". Still - what is Thomson seeing in Rooney, when he uses the words 'uncanny, sexy, beautiful, haunting" to describe his take on Puck in the 1935 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream? What exactly does he mean when he calls the early 40s Rooney – the one who was starring in Girl Crazy, National Velvet, and The Courtship of Andy Hardy – "the future - Dean and Presley and rock and roll way ahead of his time"? Am I the only one so confused?
categories Cinematical